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RackWare 2015 Predictions: Five Cloud Predictions for the Coming Year


 

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2015.  Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed article by Sash Sunkara, chief executive officer and co-founder, RackWare

Five Cloud Predictions for 2015

1.    Clouds will increase heterogeneity in the data center.

Many enterprises are diversifying away from, or moving completely over to new cloud infrastructure. This is occurring primarily due to anticipated cost savings from the pay-per-use model of the public cloud, where companies only pay for the bandwidth, processing, storage and memory resources that are used per unit of time. Various additional factors are likely at play: namely security, and complexity of maintaining a pure physical data center. We have also observed a trend towards "cloud-consolidation" where enterprises are consolidating to new clouds from old clouds or to public clouds from private clouds. With all these new infrastructure options, data centers are hosting an increasing number of infrastructure types: public, private, virtual, physical across different operating systems, hardware and cloud vendors.

2.     Legacy applications will continue to persist in the Cloud

Today's leading edge application is tomorrow's legacy application. People processes and operational dependencies are reasons why applications remain in the data center and never go away, even when they are very old. Various functional departments may want to reside on certain infrastructure because of application requirements or politics, increasing the propensity for legacy applications to be ever-present in the data center. 

Interestingly, it appears cloud is not only for green-field apps, as many legacy apps are being moved to the cloud. A few years ago, before public clouds were as pervasive as they are today, private clouds were the main focus. We have observed a trend towards stitching together unchanged internal infrastructure with cloud resources, rather than re-architecting internal infrastructure into private clouds first. In other words, some data centers are migrating their legacy applications directly into the public cloud and bypassing the private cloud altogether. Some data centers are even moving back from public cloud into their own traditional data center. 

3.     Mergers and Acquisitions will continue to increase heterogeneity

M&A events compound the data center infrastructure heterogeneity issue even further.  In a company merger, one company may be in a private cloud, while the other company has a mixed traditional data center and public cloud environment. There may be redundant workloads, or the applications might need to be integrated intimately. Since heterogeneous data centers are never going away, there will be a great need for tools and solutions that can move workloads freely between environments, whether they are public, private, or traditional data centers, in all possible directions.

4.    Enterprises will become more serious about running crucial workloads in the cloud

Public clouds have gone through enough upheavals over the years and have become hardened and made to withstand constant hacking attempts. Public clouds by their very nature are accessible by anyone on the Internet. Administration, creation and maintenance of workloads are all done remotely, without the user ever seeing or touching the underlying hardware. Security has been made extremely robust as a result, time-tested through countless hacking attempts across industries, companies and individuals. Arguably, the public cloud has had more time exposure to potential security upheavals than its private cloud, or traditional data center counterparts. Now we have multitudes of data centers residing in a few public cloud vendors, successfully compartmentalized from each other and the outside world. We anticipate that public cloud will become even more robust over time.

Traditional internal data centers may not have had the robustness built-in from constant hacking. When security breaches do occur, recovery times for clouds have the potential for being faster and more comprehensive due to standardized and hardware independent images that can capture the whole workload and restore it within minutes. This is opposed to the time-consuming process of restoring workloads from images or tape.

It appears that some data centers have come to recognize that public clouds may actually be more secure than internally built environments. Many high profile outages over the years, such as websites down during holiday season, hacked and compromised internal systems causing loss or theft of sensitive information and data, and Denial-of-Service attacks, have occurred on traditional homegrown data centers, and have led to a re-examination of public cloud as a true alternative.

5.    Tools will be needed to move workloads from where they are to where they need to be. Over the longer term, workloads will automatically move themselves in order to balance capacity demand with resource supply. 

The concept of self-service migration will take hold in data center environments for workload portability, allowing users to move workloads between dissimilar infrastructure (physical, virtual, public, or private cloud). Users will be able to move their own workloads from where they are, to where they need to be, no matter what infrastructure the workloads are running on. Application owners and end users will migrate their own workloads, without assistance from IT. Over the longer term, workloads will automatically scale out into the cloud when needed, and scale back in when the resources are not needed, all based on elastic demand and supply - heterogeneous, cross infrastructure tools will make this possible by third party software vendors - and these tools will likely not be made available by the cloud vendors themselves.

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About the Author

Sash Sunkara is chief executive officer and co-founder of RackWare.  She is a seasoned technology executive with deep expertise in solutions for data centers in both enterprise and hosting environments that leverage commodity server solutions, server virtualization, and leading edge storage architectures. Prior to founding RackWare in 2009, Sunkara was vice president of marketing for QLogic's Network Solutions Division with responsibility for the switch product lines. Previously, she was co-founder and chief business officer at 3Leaf Systems, a venture-backed server virtualization company where her role as chief business officer spanned marketing, business development, support, and operations. Earlier in her career, Sunkara served as vice president of program management at Brocade Communications where she was responsible for the execution of the company's overall roadmap, including both product and strategic initiatives. Sunkara started her career at HP developing networking switches and routers. Sunkara holds a BSEE degree from California State University, Sacramento, where she graduated with honors.

Published Thursday, December 04, 2014 6:31 AM by David Marshall
Comments
@VMblog - (Author's Link) - February 10, 2015 6:59 AM

Once again, how great is it to be a part of the virtualization and cloud industries? 2014 was another banner year, and we witnessed a number of fantastic technologies take shape and skyrocket. And I, along with many industry experts and executives, media

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